Boston Fern Fertilizer – Tips For Fertilizing Boston Ferns

by johnah on November 21, 2020

Boston Ferns are one of the most popular houseplants in America. They have been cultivated since ancient times and they still thrive today. There are many varieties of Boston Ferns, but all of them grow from cuttings or seeds which can be collected from their natural habitat (fern roots). When these plants were first introduced into homes, it was not uncommon for homeowners to plant several different kinds of Boston Ferns in order to provide a variety of colors and patterns. Today, however, it is common practice to only use one type of Boston Fern in your home.

The following tips will help you to successfully fertilize Boston Ferns indoors:

1) Do not over water!

Too much water can cause root rot and death. If you do accidentally drown your boston ferns, don’t worry; just remove the dead ones and replace them with healthy new ones. You’ll get a whole new set of beautiful flowers soon enough!

2) Use a soil mix that contains peat moss.

Peat moss is very effective at retaining moisture and preventing mold growth.

3) Try to keep the temperature between 70°F and 75°F.

Too cold and your boston ferns won’t survive long, too hot and they may die before blooming time. Keep the room around your boston ferns at least 60% relative humidity.

4) Set your plant on a small tray filled with pebbles.

Keep the water level just under the pebbles and add water as necessary to keep it there. This will allow the water to be absorbed by the peat moss, rather than sitting in a puddle at the bottom of the pot, which would cause root rot. The tray will also help prevent water from spilling onto your floor.

5) Silica sand can be used instead of peat moss.

It has a natural ability to retain moisture and prevent mold growth.

6) Use a fertilizer with a ratio of 1:2:2 (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).

7) Each boston fern produces male and female flowers on separate plants.

This takes about 5 or 6 years for the plant to grow to this state. During this time, the plant will most likely be too small or sickly looking to place in your home. After this time, however, it should be big and healthy enough to grace your living space.

8) Be sure to fertilize and water your boston fern enough to produce beautiful flowers!

This is the main reason you purchased it in the first place!

9) During the blooming period (usually mid-spring), your boston fern’s fronds will fall over and rest on the soil.

This is perfectly normal. After the blooming period is over, the fronds will stand upright again.

Thanks for reading! Please visit again soon! Next week we will discuss how to grow ferns from spores.

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Sources & references used in this article:

Cultural Guidelines for Commercial Production of Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’) by B Schall, J Chen, H Huo – EDIS, 2018 –

Tissue culture as a plant production system for foliage plants by RD Hartman, FW Zettler – Tissue culture as a plant production system for …, 1986 – Springer

Effects of light level, CO2 enrichment, and concentration of nutrient solution on growth, leaf nutrient content, and chlorophyll fluorescence of boston fern microcuttings by J Nowak, S Sroka, B Matysiak – Journal of plant nutrition, 2002 – Taylor & Francis

Phytotoxicity Evaluations for Carbaryl on Selected Cultivars of Boston Ferns by RD Oetting, HH Tippins – Journal of Economic Entomology, 1982 –

Plant Tissue Culture by P Pietropaolo – The American Biology Teacher, 1981 –

Ferns for Indoors by BR Lerner – 2001 –



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